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A voting machine has gone missing in Michigan after a Q-pilled Republican election official was stripped of her duties this week for refusing to allow routine maintenance software updates to be carried out on voting equipment.
Earlier this week the Michigan Bureau of Elections told Stephanie Scott, clerk of Adams Township, that she would no longer be conducting a vote scheduled for Nov. 2. The decision was made after she refused to allow updates to be installed on the Hart Intercivic voting equipment under her control.
“Your past statements, detailed in prior letters, indicate that you are unwilling to fulfill your responsibilities as clerk, and you have failed to confirm that you will fulfill them in response to recent correspondence,” the Bureau’s Director Jonathan Brater told Scott in a letter.
Scott, whose Facebook posts are filled with openly pro-QAnon content, has labeled the decision to strip her of her powers as “tyranny.”
"The county clerk's office and now Secretary of State are demanding I drop off my machine for unfettered access, and God only knows doing what to it,” Scott told Bridge Michigan earlier this week. “When you have the fox guarding the hen house, somebody's got to stand up and guard those hens.”
The Bureau instead appointed Hillsdale County Clerk Marney Kast to take over running next week’s election.
To perform the required accuracy test on the voting equipment that would be used on Tuesday, Kast retrieved the tabulator from Scott’s office on Monday.
But the next day, when Kast opened the suitcase carrying the tabulator, she found that the a tablet used to control the machine was missing, the Bridge Michigan first reported on Thursday.
Michigan State Police have launched a criminal investigation into the theft on Thursday following a request from the office of the Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a first-term Democrat.
Scott has not commented on the missing tablet from the tabulator machine or where it might be.
But she told Detroit News earlier this week that the reason she refused to allow the routine maintenance on the tabulators was that she had concerns about the safety and security of the machines—especially in relation to the outcome of the 2020 election—baselessly claiming the update could wipe away old data that could somehow prove the election was rigged.
Scott also alluded to a widely debunked conspiracy that originated in the QAnon fever swamp about some nefarious shadowy figures altering the outcome of the election by hacking voting machines that were connected to the internet—one version of which that Trump himself bought into included the use of Italy’s military satellites.
Scott even made the claims during an accuracy test on a Hillsdale County machine conducted Wednesday. She repeatedly interrupted the proceedings and asked County Deputy Clerk Abe Dane if the machine was connected to the internet.
Dane demonstrated for all present, the Bridge Michigan reported, how the machine only connected to the Internet after the ballots had been counted in order to send unofficial results. Michigan is one of the states where paperless machines have been eliminated meaning all results can be verified with a hand recount of ballots.
There is zero evidence to back up claims that machines were hacked remotely. In fact, Michigan’s Republican-led Senate Oversight Committee spent months investigating the 2020 election and found no evidence of widespread fraud telling citizens they “should be confident in the results.”
Scott has attempted to scrub her Facebook account of many of the most obvious QAnon posts—including her profile picture of a Q on a background of an American flag—but some links remain, including the use of QAnon phrases like ”Where we go one, we go all.”
Scott’s suspension is just the latest example of how QAnon conspiracies have made their way off the Internet and into real-world situations. In recent months, QAnon followers have been urged to seek elected positions on school boards and in local government.
Tacit support from Republican leadership who have repeatedly failed to denounce the conspiracy movement have only boosted the shift . Former President Donald Trump, in particular, has leaned into the unwavering support from this voter block and given his backing to several candidates with links to QAnon.
For example, Trump endorsed Kristina Karamo, who is challenging Michigan’s secretary of state in next year’s elections. Karamo, who appeared at the QAnon-centric conference in Las Vegas last weekend, has posted a QAnon logo on her Facebook page. Yet she has denied she supports QAnon.
Karamo, however, is also part of a coalition of Trump-backed candidates for secretary of state which was founded in part by a fringe QAnon influencer.